Monday, October 02, 2006

Pork: It's No Small Problem

The New York Times has an article highly critical of Rep. Jack Murtha (PA). It also discusses some of the problems with earmarks:
Do you wonder why debate on bills seem to occur in inverse proportion to their cost? At least with defense bills, we can thank John Murtha. In the late 1980s, he created a new process for defense spending. Instead of having the bill go through weeks of debate, Murtha and the ranking Republican would simply lard the bill with so much pork spending that neither side could resist voting for the bill. No one wanted to debate the bill, because no one wanted to reveal the pork spending within it. The Republicans have continued this tradition, which is why the defense appropriation last week for $437 billion only endured 20 minutes of debate.
Earmarks are also threatening to become an issue in our upcoming Senate election. This exchange from the primary debate (courtesey of highlights the contrast between Lieberman and Lamont:

This issue has even gotten national attention. Conservative blogger Instapundit says:
PORK BECOMES A CAMPAIGN ISSUE, as Ned Lamont attacks earmarks:
Lamont also said Congress should end the practice of anonymously inserting appropriations known as "earmarks" into the budget, saying it invites mischief - such as favors for contributors. He pledged he would use earmarks for legitimate projects in Connecticut until the rules are changed and the practice is banned.
We need to bring spending under control. Members of congress are so used to patting eachother on the back, inserting earmarks to help their special interests groups and to win re-election year after year. Despite what Sen. Lieberman would have you believe, these earmarks are not good for Connecticut or the country.

Isn't it time for a change?


Anonymous said...

With all the pork Liebermans so proud of CT. still is number 49 out of 50 in the amount we get back when compared to what we put in to the Federal Goverment.We get 65 cents back for every dollar we put in.

It's time for a Senator who works for CT and not the out of state Corperations that provide Lieberman 85% of his campaign contributions.

cgg said...

There are no easy answers to the pork debate. Most people will say they hate pork, unless of course it's earmarked to go where they live.

Anonymous said...

There is a very easy start to a fix.

1) Divided Government- It's the only way any debate happens.

In order to save this country we must have the Democrats control at least one House of Congress.This will lead to

2)PAYGO-The Paygo rules will be instituted the minute the Democrats control the house.These "pay as you go" rules must be reinstituted.

Anonymous said...

How much have we spent on New Orleans? (And the restoration is only a fraction complete.)

What pisses me off about pork is that Congresspeople are worried about "Bridges to Nowhere", when they should be taking larger views of spending priorities.

The New Orleans disaster was sadly predictable. It galls me that $10 billion could have prevented the catastrophe, and it will cost ten times that to fix it.

Billy said...

LOL that clip did well for Liberman. It basically told me that Liberman was willing to bring home the bacon when he could, it also told me that ned Lamont isnt interested in helping CT, just interested in having a platform to mock Bush. Typical libs.

GMR said...

With all the pork Liebermans so proud of CT. still is number 49 out of 50 in the amount we get back when compared to what we put in to the Federal Goverment.We get 65 cents back for every dollar we put in.

This statistic is often quoted, but you have to understand what makes it so. First, Connecticut folks pay a lot of taxes because we make a lot of money, in comparison to other states. If a guy earns a couple million, and pays a third to the feds, they probably don't want to ensure that it comes back to Connecticut.

What does the federal government spend on?

Military. Connecticut has fewer people in the military than some other states, and we don't have many big bases where people are stationed. Thus, military salaries don't flow much into Connecticut.

Farm Subsidies. We don't have many farmers, since we're a small state with a lot of people and expensive land. So not a lot of farm subsidies flow into here.

Fewer people on social security, medicaid, medicare, food stamps, etc.

I think what would be interesting is if we could see what the $0.65 figure would be if we did it for just Fairfield county, and what the rest of the state would be. It's likely that Fairfield county is driving these numbers, as it has a large number of high income people and a low number of people receiving government assistance, no military bases and I don't think more than a handful of very small farms.

bluecoat said...

The problem with earmarks is not that they exist; it's when they are buried; Shays gets earmarks all the time but he publishes them out in the open.

Anonymous said...

Lieberman is such a jerk. All he does is interupt Ned everytime its his turn to speak. Shame on you Joe!